Life at Les Roches as a Third Culture Kid

on December 12 | in Alumni | by Alaine Handa | with No Comments

Telling someone where you are from can be a tough answer if you’ve grown up in so many different places. Alaine, a Les Roches alumna from the Postgraduate Diploma class of 2015, told us what it’s like to be a third culture kid.

The question “where are you from?” was regularly asked during my first weeks at Les Roches. I often wondered whether to list all the countries I’ve lived in or just give a short answer. Often, I would provide the latter. However, during the first few weeks of meeting my fellow classmates and other students, I wanted them to get a sense of who I was.

“It’s a bit of a complicated story,” I would say. “Do you have time to listen to it or do you want the place which I considered to be ‘home’, and how that helped shape me into the person I am today?”

I would then go on and say:

I was born in Singapore, had a childhood in Jakarta, adolescence in Singapore, spent summers in Australia and California, and lived in the US for 11 years. I attended international and American schools. I am a native English speaker but I can speak some Swedish, Bahasa Indonesia and studied Japanese for eight years.

My parents also had global upbringings so the concept of ‘home’ as a physical place is a bit skewed and mobile.”

When I came to Les Roches, the responses I received were refreshing. I felt safe and part of the Les Roches family. I meet Les Roches alumni from time to time around the world, and we reminisce about living in Bluche and the bonds of being truly global. We just don’t bat an eyelid about living in Singapore, London, New York, Dubai and other locations.

What really struck me about Les Roches was that all of the students, faculty and staff make it a truly international school. There were many nationalities on campus, with many having dual or multi citizenships and proficiencies in lots of different languages. All of this made me feel at home at Les Roches, and made me realize it is a global village community.

LRB PGD 2015 Grad class

When I asked others where they were from, the responses were often similar to mine, meaning Les Roches has had, and will continue to have, a lot of third culture kids. If you’re one of them, you will fit right in!


Alaine Handa
Postgraduate Diploma Alumna
Author of Third Culture Kid blog Travel with Alaine

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